Two and a half hours of oral arguments regarding same-sex marriage will occur at the Supreme Court today, reports BuzzFeed. Anticipation for this historic moment has been building since last November, and people have been waiting in line for seats since last week. Inside, they’ll watch as two questions are discussed.
1. Does the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment require states to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
2. Does the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment require states to recognize the marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed elsewhere?
The 14th Amendment is the one that gives all Americans equal protection under the law. Remember that one? Some people believe it’s a clear indication that same-sex marriage bans are “arbitrary” and that it should be legal nationwide. Others, like Marco Rubio, don’t exactly agree. The Hill reported on the presidential candidate’s, uh, passionate dismissal of today’s arguments.
“It doesn’t exist. There is no federal constitutional right to same sex-marriage. There isn’t such a right,” the 2016 hopeful said during an interview this weekend with Christian Broadcasting Network’s The Brody File. “You would have to really have a ridiculous and absurd reading of the U.S. Constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex.”
Let’s revisit the 14th Amendment for a second, shall we?
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
I don’t really get why Rubio thinks it’s “ridiculous and absurd,” but hey! Some people look at a blob of ink and see a heart, while others look at that same blob and see Ariana Grande photographed from the right while singing on a giant turtle in an Olympic-size pool. Rubio is not alone, and that’s why the Supreme Court exists.
Throughout today’s arguments, the Justices will hear plenty of people explain why their interpretation is the right one. Over 150 briefs have been filed, and they “offer a window into all the reasons that anyone could possibly argue for legalized marriage for same-sex couples — and against them.”
The primary argument by same-sex couples — laid out repeatedly by Ted Olson in his assault on California’s Proposition 8 — is that the Supreme Court has on more than a dozen occasions called marriage a fundamental right. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage subjects that exclusion to strict scrutiny.
But then, of course, those opposed say same-sex marriage isn’t the same thing as “traditional” marriage, so the whole fundamental right thing doesn’t apply. It’s basically a “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” situation, but with life-altering (and country-defining) consequences.
A “definitive decision” is expected by the Supreme Court in June, so now all we can do is wait patiently while imagining what kinds of things Justices Ginsburg and Scalia will be screaming at each other until then.
Image via Getty.
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